10 | 08 | 16
WALES VS MOLDOVA - HISTORY
Moldova were formerly part of the Soviet Union but following the break up, they played as a team in competitive football for the first time in 1992.
The trip to Chisinau in 1994 was problematic both logistically and tactically for Wales, who took their own chefs and food for the game played in October of that year.
Mike Smith was Wales’ manager with Barry Horne the captain and they enjoyed a good start, with Gary Speed finding the net with a close-range header in the sixth minute. It was Speed’s first goal for Wales. He went on to score seven times for his country and each of his goals came in competitive games.
However, within two minutes, Moldova were level with Serghei Belous’s long-range effort beating Neville Southall. The minnows took a shock lead with Serghei Secu’s free-kick finding its way through the Wales wall.
Time was running out when Speed crossed and after a slip by goalkeeper Radu Rebeja, Nathan Blake was on hand to net his first Wales goal. But with 12 minutes remaining, Wales were undone by a tremendous individual effort from Valeri Pogorelov.
In the return at the old Cardiff Arms Park, Wales redeemed themselves, with Bobby Gould taking charge for the first time. Again Speed was on the scoresheet with a close range effort, while Moldova were reduced to 10 men in the final minute when Oleg Fistican was red-carded.